Population control

News coverage of starvation in Africa often refers to "donor fatigue" on the part of Americans. This coverage overlooks frames of reference and causal background that contribute to the problem.

Have you mentioned that Africa actually pays out more in debt retirement and interest every year than it receives in aid? Have you mentioned that these loans or grants were often given to induce governments to line up on "our side" during the cold war, or that much of it wound up back in the coffers of large multinational corporations for equipment or mega-projects, inappropriate in the first place?

We need more discussion on the cause of these problems and on how the world community might work together toward long-range solutions. Waiting until conditions are so bad that all we can do is get food to starving refugees is not enough. L. Dean, M. Beaudoin, Concord, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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